The Montreal Canadiens held an optional skate and afterward spoke about tonight's game and the media frenzy created by Zdeno Chara
's hit on Max Pacioretty during the two clubs' meeting March 8th.
"I expect a good hockey game," said Michael Cammalleri. "I expect a lot of this type of talk to be for the media and fans, to be honest with you -- I do.
"We’ll see. I could be wrong, but I think that both teams want to prove to the other who’s the better team when the score is done at the end of the game and are well aware of the fact that we might see each other in the postseason."
Former Bruins defenseman Hal Gill, now a Canadiens assistant captain, said he expects both teams to try and make a statement during tonight's contest.
"As you get later in the season, these games mean more and more where you establish yourself for the playoffs," said Gill. "You don’t know who you are going to be playing, but this is an imoprtant road game for us.
"We want to try and send a message in how we are going to play and try to dictate the game as much as we can, as opposed to having them do it."
The hockey media have continuously relayed messages between the two cities and today was no different. Reacting to Boston Bruins forward Mark Recchi's comments yesterday, when he said that the B's were happy to hear that Pacioretty was feeling better, but wondered if initial reports about the severity of his injuries had been overstated, Michael Cammalleri said, "I don’t think it’s appropriate.
"I don’t think those comments are appropriate by Mark. Surprised to be honest with you. I think Mark is a guy who has been around a long time and I am not sure he has his medical degree yet, so I think that it is what it is when it comes to the brain and I think these are very unclear injuries and very serious ones, and I think it is a little bit disrespectful those comments, for sure.
"A little bit [surprising] coming from a guy with the reputation that he has," he said.
Gill added, "We had a player that was pretty seriously injured.
"You know, if you are saying anything other than I hope he is well and hope he is getting better, then I don’t have time for it."
As for tonight's contest, Gill believes that it will be a physical game.
"I think the whole idea is the way we play is a physical game, but it is a smart game," explained the defenseman. "It is a high-tempo game and we want to establish that game and be tough defensively, but try and force as much as we can on them and play in their end as much as we can.
"I think that sends a message more than anything else."
Asked why he thought the Habs had beaten the Bruins four out of five games thus far this season, Cammalleri said, "I’d like to think that our team is a competitive group at heart, and I think that sometimes when we play teams that are teams that we actually have a lot of respect for as far as how good they are it probably brings out the best in our group."